Tuesday, 6 May 2014

El Camino Bracelet Review

Sometimes you come across a product and think "I NEED this in my life".  I'm not sure how I stumbled across the blog that was reviewing them, it was a travel blog and as a whole I don't read them for fear of itchy feet and the green eyed monster appearing.

Maybe it was meant to be.

Let me explain.  El Camino bracelets are a modern take on a charm bracelet (something I've always wanted).  They do 3 types of beads (or steps as they call them), there are country steps and small steps (for cities and smaller areas) which are both made from surgical grade stainless steel and have the place engraved on them. You can also order customised steps with up to 32 characters on. And then there are regional steps, made from glass to represent different regions in the world.

The bracelets themselves come in seven different colours and are made of strong cord, meaning they are tough enough for the most adventurous traveller or your average toddler!

These bracelets appealed to me on SO many levels!  I'd get the charm bracelet I'd always wanted, I wouldn't have to feel sad that I didn't have something from each country I've visited to hang on it, it appealed to the traveller in me as well as the collector!

I just had to have one and started stalking El Camino on Facebook and Twitter! They are very nice people and always replied to me!  I entered every competition they had running but still no luck. I berated the fact I was born in December and had so long to wait for the present giving season!

And then I remembered... I still hadn't spent the vouchers I was given as a leaving gift from work last year!  What a perfect present!

My next challenge was to decide what to buy.  The bracelets come as single or doubles in 7 different colours.  You can buy a stater pack of a bracelet and two country steps at a discounted rate of £34.99 as well as 4 country steps for £26.99 (usual price of £8.99 each).

So I could either buy 10 country steps or 6 countries, a small step and a region.

I listed out all the countries I had been to in order from when I first started going abroad without my parents at 13.  I got well over 20 and realised later that I had missed some. I crossed out England, Scotland and Wales plus anywhere I had only spent a night or two or for some reason hadn't been all that significant and managed to whittle it down to 10.

So here they are:

1. Netherlands I have been to Holland many times. This is where I went on my first international trip with the Guides as well as on a town twinning trip and a school trip. Papa Owl's family are from Holland and so we have been several times together.

2 Australia. This was my first major trip - somehow I persuaded my mother to let me go and visit my brother for 6 weeks when I was just 16!

3 Mexico I spent a glorious summer working at the Guide centre Our Cabana.

4 India oh my beloved India. Can't believe its over 3 months since I came home.

5 Egypt. This is the only time I have gone on a 'tour'.  I was single at the time and had no one to go away with and so booked onto a trip with Explore. It was brilliant, very much an ethical travel mindset rather than tourists.

6 USA.  I have been to the states 3 times.  My first visit was to New York in September 2001.    Not the best time to be there and I hope to go back sometime.  I have also visited friends in Dallas, Texas and had a great time. And most recently, Papa Owl and I enjoyed our honeymoon in Hawaii.

7. Hong Kong.  My first visit was shortly after my best friend emigrated, but its also significant of a much bigger trip I took when Papa Owl and I travelled by train from Hastings all the way to Hong Kong.

8. Russia. Papa Owl and I spent a few days in Moscow before getting on the Trans-Siberian (well Trans-Mongolian to be precise).  St Basil's Cathedral in the Red Square is simply breathtaking.

9 Mongolia. We hopped of the train for a week here and Papa Owl could have stayed!  

10 South Africa. I took a group of Senior Section (big Girl Guides) to South Africa as part of the centenary celebrations in 2010. 

Imagine.  All of that on just one bracelet.

I couldn't wait for it to arrive and now its here, I love it!  It's really light and easy to forget its there which is what I look for in jewellery - I haven't got time to be selecting what jewellery I wish to wear each day - I want to be able to sleep, eat, bath and entertain Little Owl in whatever I am wearing, and I can certainly do that with this bracelet.

Little Owl likes to spin the beads when she's snuggled on my lap.  I can imagine when she is older, her asking me what each of them says and me telling her tales of my adventures.  I would love Little Owl to have her own bracelet, maybe a bright blue one, starting off with the Netherlands and India and adding to it as she grows.

And of course I want to add to mine, with small steps to give it some definition and regional steps to give it colour! I've even created a wish list on Pinterest so Papa Owl knows which ones I would like!

We're going on an adventure


  1. Damn you now I want one too!!! Totally looking this up it sounds the perfect way to collect your travels

    1. Haha - that doesn't surprise me - I think there's something about Guides... its like a camp blanket you can wear on your arm ALL THE TIME!

  2. That bracelet is lovely! It looks so individual, love it x

  3. Nice bracelet, love the little goat picture :)

    Cathy Vargas
    Vintage Girls

  4. I`m 72 years old,and I will wear one,I just love the idea.....

    1. Go have a look - I'm sure you'll be hooked!

  5. This post is very useful for us. Because we have a lot of
    tips and tricks from this post. Thank you for this amazing post share. If you want to know more about country bracelets you can visit pocket and pearls.


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